A BIG week lies ahead for the Cockles, who have two mouthwatering derby games at the Imperial ground, to round off their league season preparations.
An Exeter Chiefs xv are the visitors on Thursday night (24th), in what has become an annual fixture, with the game being sponsored by Ashfords Law. In previous seasons the Chiefs have blended youth with some experience and have fielded a number of internationals in the past including Tom Johnson last season. The game kick off at 6.45pm, and it is £5 entry for adults, and is free for under 16's.
Head Coach Jon Hill comments:
"We are delighted to welcome a Chiefs xv for the forth season running in what I am sure will be a very entertaining game for the spectators. It is superb to have the premiership champions on our doorstep, and we see a number of chiefs fans at our home games when the a chiefs are away. For us, it is an important fixture as we build for our first league game against Lydney on the 2nd (September), and we will look to step things up from last weeks impressive performance away at Taunton.
"George Savage, Dave Bargent, Davy McGregor, Tom Whelan and Lloyd Watkins are likely to come into the squad having had a limited or no role at all against Taunton last week."
On Friday night it is the 'Battle of Exmouth" with Exmouth RFC 2nd xv taking on near neighbours Withycombe 1st xv, with a 7pm kick off at the Imperial Ground in a game being sponsored by Fever and Boutique Nightclub.
Glenn Channing will bring his Withycombe squad half a mile down the road , looking to build on an impressive victory over Torquay last weekend and see how a number of his new signings fit into his squad. There are a large number of former Exmouth players on Withycombe's playing ranks, and summer signings Sam Conway and Connor O'Shaughnessy have both worn Exmouth 1st xv jerseys in the last couple of years. No fewer than 22 players have joined Withycombe from Exmouth in recent seasons, so there is sure to be a bit of spice and also familiarity in Friday nights fixture!
Exmouth Head Coach Jon Hill comments:
"We are pleased to be able to resurrect what was an annual fixture up until recent years, and bring a bit of spice to the pre season phase. Withycombe have a proud tradition, and have done well in recent seasons with cup runs , and impressive league performances as they look to get out of the Devon and Cornwall League.
"Glenn has had a positive impact at the club and is building a good team spirit that is sure to see them challenging once agin this season. For our 2nd xv, this is a superb quality fixture and gives us a good indication of where our fringe players are. We have really invested in our 2nd xv this season with the appointment of Alex Goldman and Ali Hill as joint head coaches, and with the club entering the South West Pilot League. We hope to use this team to create a better pathway to 1st xv rugby, so these are the sort of fixtures we require, and can't wait for the game"
Updated 10:18 - 1 Sep 2017 by Exmouth RFC Webmaster
Picture: Sarah Swan of Fever and Boutique , with 1st xv Captain Jack Fahy and 1st xv player Matt Ryan.